Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


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Insta-Trade Show (in which Anne travels for work and instagrams it all)

Last week, I went on a business trip to St. Louis. It was great. I instagrammed the whole trip (it kept me sane) with my ipod (still have a dumb phone), and you can follow me on instagram if you want or whatever; my username is @annie88b. Since I only have about 29 followers, I needed to find another place to share all of these pictures and wise insights, so you’re in for a treat. Someone needs to enjoy my witty hashtags. #ifeelobligatedtoinsertonenow

Flying in a plane makes me all giddy, but I was accompanying one of our authors, so I had to keep it professional (difficult).

St. Louis flight

Despite my earlier worry that I would be trapped inside the whole trip, I did manage to make it outside once and a while. Little did I know that it would be the last place I would want to be. This Michigan girl cannot handle the heat and humidity of St. Louis. I did see this one landmark from afar, though.

St. Louis arch

There was a crazy storm Sunday night that rolled in super quickly. I managed to snap this pic of the angry clouds before it downpoured. Also, random, but this is a picture of the carpet in our hotel. HOTELS HAVE THE CRAZIEST CARPET. Is there like a special, different carpet store for hotels? Because I can’t envision walking into my local Carpet Bonanza and finding this (and obviously I would want to).

St. Louis misc

I was there for a Christian trade show and yes, there were multiple celebrity sightings. Again, I had to keep it together because I was traveling for work, but believe me, on the inside I was screaming. Duh. I even managed to squeak out an entire sentence to the author of my favorite horse book from back when I was an equine-obsessed kid.

St. Louis Veggie Tales

Christian trade shows are weird places. Where else can you find jelly beans for evangelistic purposes? Each color of jelly bean had words on them like “Jesus,” “salvation,” or my favorite, the black jelly bean, which simply read “sin.” I wasn’t clear on if you were supposed to eat the black ones or not. Thoughts?

St. Louis exhibits

There was also a Duck Dynasty booth where they handed out free cardboard beards for those of us who are not as blessed in the facial-hair department. It was a definite highlight seeing a whole bunch of publishing professionals wearing cardboard beards, as you can imagine. Next year, I’m definitely going to bring something awesome to hand out to promote our authors. I’m open to suggestions, so start thinking now.

During the flight home we traveled through a storm. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. I understand that I really should have a healthy fear of things like this, but at the same time, there’s not much I can do about it, so I chose to enjoy it. Immensely.

All in all, I kept it together. I made sure we caught all of our connecting flights. I made a reservation at a restaurant. I even wore wedges one day, much to the chagrin of my calves!

Professionalism becomes me, on occasion. I think.

The last time I had to be professional on a business trip? Read about it here.

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Roughing It (in which Ken and Anne go camping in the barren wilderness, aka a campground)

This weekend, Kenny and I went camping! We went with two of our dearest friends and their stinking adorable puppy, Phoebe. Camping with a dog is THE WAY TO GO, hands down. Don’t even question the logic–the next time you head out to the wilderness, grab the dog nearest to you and take it. You won’t regret it.

I managed to snap a few pictures on my ipod during the weekend since I could not be troubled to take actual photos on my actual camera. In the wilderness, technology doesn’t get a second thought. But I’m thankful that I have these photos, and of course I am going to subject you to pictures of our vacation. Hunker down. This slideshow is gonna be a good one.

Here is the car packed to the brim and Ken and Anne’s happy faces.

2 camping

Those happy faces would not last long–setting up a tent is one of the biggest stressors of our marriage. Both of us think we can do it best–and neither of us really know how to to do it well…

But we do know how to do camping food right. Here are steaks over the fire–seriously the BEST steak I’ve ever consumed–and a breakfast scramble. Everything tastes about 6x better in the wilderness, so we eat about 6x as much as we need to.

1 camping

Oh, and did I mention that our friends brought their puppy, Phoebe?!? This small bundle of fur brought us so much joy and laughter. ‘Twas good for the soul.

3 camping

Phoebe LOVED the beach (we camped on the shores of Lake Michigan, duh), and when Kenny and our friend Steve were playing frisbee while the sun set, Phoebe would tirelessly chase the frisbee as fast as her short little legs would take her. Kelli and I were in stitches watching.

4 camping

Though the tent set-up was stressful, our home away from home served us well. Let’s not talk about the constantly deflating air mattress.

5 camping

Now we’re rubbing lotion into our sunburn, cleaning melted ice and mud out of the cooler, and still finding sand in every nook and cranny of our backpacks, but it’s a happy type of exhaustion.

Wish I could do this every weekend…anyone else in?


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Spring=Lambs (in which we enjoy a practically perfect evening)

I may have mentioned before that I live on a farm.

It is great fun to visit in the spring, when there are many little lambs cavorting about.

But our farm is not the only place with lambs, and the other night, Ken and I hung out with some friends, one of whom lives on another sheep farm.

The night was gorgeous, and who can resist faces like these?

twin lambs

These two pictured above were bottle-fed lambs, and Kelli got to feed one of them. She was thrilled. I love this picture so much.

kelli feeding a lamb

But the night did not end there. We also ate s’mores by the lake. At sunset.

P1030241

But the best part of the night was the fact that we got to see friends we hadn’t seen in some time. Em’s been in Africa, and AM has been studying in Texas.

sunset on the lake at the farm

So, you know, it was a pretty wonderful evening.


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Graduation Day (in which I find myself one step closer to retirement)

Today’s the day.

My husband has been working for a large chunk of his life to get to this point…that is (drumroll, please): graduation day from law school.

I could not be more proud of him, so allow me to brag for just a sec.

Preemptively inserting Ken’s response to my bragging:

groom with broken bouttonniere

(That is the face of someone who is a tiny bit secretly pleased. I can tell.)

Way back in the day when Kenny was applying for law schools and I was just a wee one studying during my Junior year of college, I got a phone call from this attractive man that I was dating (spoiler alert: itwasKen).

He proceeded to inform me that he’d just received a letter informing him that he was the recipient of a FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP to go to law school.

I was positive I was being punk’d, so I kept my cool.

*Sidenote: it’s not that I think Ken is undeserving of such a scholarship. In fact, I think that he is the MOST deserving. But I also realize I am a bit biased.

“Whaaaaat?” I said, calmly/skeptically, certain I’d misheard.

“Not even joking a little,” he responded.

I am a little embarrassed to say that it took me way longer than it should have for him to convince me that he was for real. Here, I am giving you a special insight into our relationship…you can discern from my skepticism that Ken has, in the past, perhaps just once or twice, pulled the wool over my eyes. Being a trusting individual (at least before we started dating), I believed his crazy, made up stories one too many times and was not going to let him get the better of me.

Anyway, fast-forward to today. That mythical, yet entirely real, full-ride scholarship has been a HUGE blessing. My husband had worked incredibly hard to get through law school. He’s done it well, and has even picked up a few honors along the way (note: not just ones that I’ve made up).

In honor of this special occasion, I’ve taken the liberty of creating another “hey girl” meme of Ken. He loves it when I do this.

hey girl stay at home wife

That Ken’s a charmer, that’s for sure. You can see more charming “hey girl” memes of Ken here. It’s worth the click, trust me.

Anyway. I’ll spare you the sappy stuff and just reiterate that yes, I married a keeper.


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Beachy Evenings (in which you are inundated with sunset pictures)

My favorite person took me to the beach this weekend. We detoured first to Captain Sundaes, since he knows the way to my heart is first through a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup flurry.

Lake MI Sunset Kenny Annie

It was one of the first actually warm days here in West Michigan, and though Kenny had to study for law school exams during the day, we took full advantage of the temps at night.

Lake MI Sunset April 27

I will never get sick of a Lake Michigan sunset.

Lake MI Sunset April 27

Each sumset is entirely different from all the rest, entirely unique; each seeking to bring glory to their majestic Creator.

Lake MI Sunset April 27Lake MI Sunset April 27Lake MI Sunset April 27

Words are inadequate–or unnecessary–on nights like these, so we mainly enjoyed the sky in silence.

All in all, a perfect evening.